AS a young kid, Alex Gogic experienced Greek football’s renowned intense and violent landscape.
He would regularly be a ball boy when his dad, Siniša – a former Cypriot international striker – played for Olympiacos.
Flares and various inanimate objects would sporadically whistle dangerously by his ears as had his eyes trained on the pitch.
For the past three seasons with Hamilton, the 26 year-old has become accustomed to a different level of backing.
With the smallest fan base in the Premiership going by average attendances, there was a more personal feel to the relationship between supporter and player at New Douglas Park.
Now at Hibernian, having signed a two year-deal with Jack Ross’s side earlier this month, the holding midfielder is relishing running out into a packed Easter Road.
He appreciates the level of expectation will be a lot different to what he is used to, but given what he has witnessed in his life, there is little chance of him being overawed.
“I went to matches from when I was three or four years old. And even younger when we were still in Cyprus.
“I can remember being a ball boy in Greece. There was always fireworks and crazy crowds at these games.
“I loved that and always wanted to be just singing with the fans and enjoying the pyrotechnics.
“I’m looking forward to playing in front of noisy crowds and a big atmosphere once again. I grew up with that. When you play in front of these crowds you can feel that.
“Growing up in Greece, going to the games with lots of fans and singing with them – I really enjoyed that. I’m really looking forward to it once again.
“Some players don’t like the pressure of playing in front of big crowds, other players like me, we love it. I enjoy that atmosphere.”
Dundee United and clubs south of the border had also been keen to recruit the out of contract Gogic, but the passionate Hibs fan base and thought of playing in front of crowds in excess of 16,000 convinced him to move to the Edinburgh side.
“I wanted to stay in Scotland because I know the league already,” he added.
“And also because Hibs are a big club and their fans were tweeting me and making me feel wanted. That made it an easy decision.
“The size of the club appealed to me first of all.
“I’m looking forward to playing at Easter Road when the fans return, 100 per cent.
“When I was at Hamilton you looked forward to playing in stadiums like Easter Road.
“You came out the tunnel and there was always a buzz and an atmosphere.
“To play there every other week will be amazing. I can’t wait for that to be honest.
“It will be a bit different from my time at Hamilton. Hamilton have a smaller fanbase but they were very loyal. You were more in touch with them. So it’s a different feeling like that.”
Gogic is head coach Jack Ross’ third summer arrival and would also like to see former Accies team-mate Ross Docherty back at Hibs next term.
The Rangers midfielder shone during the short period he was on loan before the health crisis, with Ross making no secret of the fact that he would like he re-sign the 23-year-old.
“I think Greg is an amazing player,” declared Gogic.
“Him coming back and me playing with him again would be brilliant.
“He’s strong, a powerful runner and I enjoyed playing with him when I came to Hamilton.
“We’re still in touch and I talk to him often. If he does decide to come back I think that would be great for Hibs.
“We complement each other well in midfield. I don’t run forward as much but I can cut out other team’s attacks and give the ball to someone like Greg to use his pace to drive the team forward. That helps.”